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Vascular Plants of California
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Corallorhiza mertensiana
WESTERN CORALROOT


Higher Taxonomy
Family: OrchidaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: ORCHID FAMILY
Habit: Perennial herb, terrestrial [growing on other pls], non-green (nutrition from association of roots with fungi) or green, generally from rhizomes or tubers with few to many fleshy to slender roots; cauline leaves +- reduced to sheathing stem bracts or not. Leaf: 1--many, basal to cauline, linear to +- round, alternate to opposite (if only 1 pair), generally sessile. Inflorescence: flowers 1--many, spike or raceme, bracted. Flower: bisexual, bilateral, in bud generally rotating 180° by twisting ovary (position of parts indicated after twisting); sepals generally 3, generally free, generally petal-like, uppermost generally erect, lateral with chin- or spur-like projection (mentum) or not; petals 3, 1 (lip) different, spurred or not; stamens generally 1 (3 in Cypripedium, 2 functional, 1 a staminode), fused with style, stigma into column, pollen generally lumped, generally removed as unit by insect; ovary inferior, 1-chambered, placentas 3, parietal, stigma 3 lobed, generally under column tip. Fruit: capsule. Seed: many, minute.
Genera In Family: +- 800 genera, +- 25000 species: especially tropics (worldwide except Antarctica). Many cultivated for ornamental, especially Cattleya, Cymbidium, Epidendrum, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum; Vanilla planifolia Andrews fruits used to flavor food. Note: Platanthera may be paraphyletic without inclusion of Piperia (Bateman et al. 2009 Ann Bot 104:431--445); study needed.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald A. Coleman, Dieter H. Wilken & William F. Jennings, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Ronald A. Coleman, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: CorallorhizaView DescriptionDichotomous Key


Common Name: CORALROOT
Habit: Plant +- scapose, brown, tan, +- pink, +- red, +- purple, (+- green); rhizome branches many, short, scaly, together coral-like. Leaf: at flower 0. Inflorescence: raceme; flower bract << flower, often scale-like. Flower: sepals +- alike, oblong to (ob)lanceolate, generally curved over column and lip, generally 3-veined, lower generally fused at base, mentum present or not; lateral petals spreading or curved toward lip, lip not spurred, entire to 3-lobed, spreading to reflexed; column generally convex adaxially, concave abaxially, curved over lip. Fruit: pendent.
Species In Genus: 11 species: North America, Central America, Eurasia. Etymology: (Greek: coral root)
Corallorhiza mertensiana Bong.
NATIVE
Habit: Plant 15--45 cm. Stem: generally +- red. Flower: sepals 7--10 mm, generally pink, lower spreading, mentum 0.5--2.5 mm; lateral petals deep pink to red, veins generally yellow or dark red, lip 6--9 mm, with 2 acute lobes laterally, deep pink to red, generally with 3 dark red veins, tip irregularly crenate or toothed; column 5.5--8 mm, +- yellow, basally +- purple. Fruit: 15--25 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=40.
Ecology: Shaded to open mixed-evergreen or conifer forest, in decomposing leaf litter; Elevation: < 2200 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW (exc NCoRI); Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, Montana, Wyoming. Flowering Time: May--Jul
Jepson eFlora Author: Ronald A. Coleman, Dieter H. Wilken & William F. Jennings
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Botanical illustration including Corallorhiza mertensiana

botanical illustration including Corallorhiza mertensiana

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Citation for this treatment: Ronald A. Coleman, Dieter H. Wilken & William F. Jennings 2012, Corallorhiza mertensiana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=20261, accessed on November 20, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/, accessed on November 20, 2019.

Corallorhiza mertensiana
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© 2011 Barry Rice
Corallorhiza mertensiana
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson
Corallorhiza mertensiana
click for enlargement
© 2011 Barry Rice
Corallorhiza mertensiana
click for enlargement
© 2004 Steve Matson
Corallorhiza mertensiana
click for enlargement
© 2004 Steve Matson
Corallorhiza mertensiana
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer

More photos of Corallorhiza mertensiana in CalPhotos



Geographic subdivisions for Corallorhiza mertensiana:
NW (exc NCoRI)
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).





 

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Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.